For the first time in his life, Alessandro Del Piero visited west Africa last month.
He was part of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour presented by Heineken® that made one of its six global stops in Abidjan, the largest city in Cote d'Ivoire.
"It was great," he told Goal. "I knew that this country was a football country but I got a little bit surprised and it was really, really nice."
Del Piero met with fans who queued hundreds deep for the chance to have their photograph taken with the 1996 Champions League winner.
"The people were excited, funny and they took a lot of photos," he says. "It was a great moment."
The Juventus legend's reputation precedes him, wherever he goes around the world. And in a country like Cote d'Ivoire, where football is by far the most popular game, Del Piero is a household name.
"I was joking on my social media," he said, "because they gave me the privilege and an honour to wear the stuff they give to the king.
"I said I've just been here for an hour and I already became a king. These are the kinds of things you can have on these tours. It’s great because the people really take care of you. Especially in this country they really want the best for you.
"There were some Juventus fans as well so it was nice. At the end of the day because of the Champions League trophy you become a huge community - all the people that won that trophy - so they respect you for that as well."
Alessandro Del Piero is an ambassador for the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken®. In 2018 the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour Presented by Heineken® will visit six markets across four different continents providing fans outside of Europe with the opportunity to experience a sense of the film-like drama of the events.